The Year's Most Memorable Podcast Episodes From Nashville Public Radio | Nashville Public Radio

The Year's Most Memorable Podcast Episodes From Nashville Public Radio

Dec 20, 2018

Nashville Public Radio has produced so many compelling stories this year — stories with the power to inspire, elicit laughter,or even conjure sadness or anger, but that always offer a glimpse through someone else's eyes. 

If you're new to podcasts, we promise it's easy and free. Our site podcasts.wpln.org is a good place to start. Here are seven standout episodes from 2018.

The Promise, Part 1: A Change Is Gonna Come

Credit WPLN

For The Promise, WPLN's Meribah Knight spent a year focusing on the James Cayce Homes, Nashville's largest public housing development. The city has begun a multi-year overhaul, intended to transform Cayce Homes from a cloistered low-income community to one that's economically diverse and less separated from the fabric of the surrounding streets.

Start with Part 1. In it, we meet Vernell McHenry, 61, who greets the neighborhood from a folding beach chair on a stoop. Vernell has a decision to make: Does she stay in her dilapidated apartment where her friends and her favorite neighborhood kids live next door? Or does she go down the hill to a brand-new building, potentially losing her social life and sense of home in the process?

The Promise made the New Yorker's top 10 podcasts of the year list.  

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Curious Nashville: How One Man Created A Peace Sign Visible From The Sky

Credit Google Maps

From the proper vantage point it materializes unmistakably: A gigantic peace sign, cut into roughly three acres of forest next to the Nashville International Airport. It can appear to anyone browsing satellite photography, and to air travelers like Nashville attorney Kelsey Bridges. She was the first person (of four) to ask Curious Nashville about what she’d seen.  

The Duck-On-A-Deer Puppeteers turned a version of it into a national award-winning puppet show in front of a live audience at our 2018 Podcast Party.

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Movers & Thinkers: What Is Love?

Credit Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

Without a doubt, romantic love is a driving force in our culture — with countless movies, songs and books devoted to finding it, losing it or making it last. But what we find out in this episode is that our fundamental assumptions about love are often wrong. Before a live audience in Studio C, WPLN's Emily Siner breaks down our assumptions and seeks the unvarnished truth with three guests who have seen a lot of love, heartbreak and romantic confusion: relationship therapist Jeannie Ingram, divorce attorney Siew-Ling Shea, and Alex Pollack, a writer who muses on modern dating culture.

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Keeping Score: Christopher Rouse

Credit Jeffrey Herman

Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse talks with 91Classical's Colleen Phelps, as his Fifth Symphony is being paired with that of Beethoven for a performance by the Nashville Symphony. 

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The Tri-Star State: The Bill Lee Interview

Credit Shalina Chatlani / WPLN

Tennessee will soon swear in a new governor who has never held a political office. But Bill Lee was able to convince voters — many of whom cited Lee's morals and the positivity of his campaign — that running the Lee Company is preparation enough to lead Tennessee's executive branch. WPLN's Chas Sisk interviewed Lee shortly before the primary election. As Lee's inauguration approaches, revisit what Lee, as a candidate, had to say.

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Versify: Mercy At The Ryman

Credit Hunter Armistead

In this episode, the storyteller is a poet: singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier. Gauthier came to country music in her 40s, one of many things that made her feel like an industry outsider. She speaks with poet Destiny Birdsong about her unconventional entry into the business and how an unforgettable performance at the Ryman redefined Gauthier's relationship to her music — and to herself. 

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Neighbors, Matt Got Shot, Part 1

Credit Eric England

It was inauguration day 2017 when Nashville singer-songwriter Matt Lovell was ambushed while sitting in his car — and then shot in the chest. Matt survived, but surviving the shooting was only the first challenge Matt would have to face. This riveting, three-part series takes us along Matt's journey through physical and emotional trauma, his short steps and great strides of recovery, and a strange coincidence that brings him into the life of an artist whose security camera across the street captured the shooting.